N-imal?

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Oh yes, it’s that time of year again, when numerate pollsters make nasal proclamations about the naming of the next next version of Ubuntu. When gazers of balls crystal provide nifty suggestions for new new features and, of course, suitable nomenclature to match.

What will it be? A Naiant Nailtail would make a fine coat of arms, but we’re not really in the business of arms. Most of our businesses have legs. Most, I say. We could hedge our bets and go with the Neutral Newt, but it’s placing bets and seeing them through that raises the game for the free software desktop, and now’s a time of great change and invention, not a time for fence-sitting.

I’ve been procrastinating. The N-evitable nature of our cadence means that calls for something nicer than “Maverick+1” are increasingly noticeable. Naively, I always assume that the answer will leap off the page. Instead, what leaps off the page is a gazillion permutations and combinations of nubile, naughty, naiad and nymph. Moving swiftly onward I linger on the possibilities of the Numbat. Nah. There’s no doubt Fourecks can be a rich source of inspiration, now’s not the time to celebrate Van Diemen’s Land, we’ve better plans for that. And speaking of Fourecks, the Nobby Noctule sounds like something dreamed up by Terry Pratchett, perhaps a fitting way to move beyond Adam’s 10.10.10, but it really is hard to sing the praises of a bat. Especially one with (k)nobs.

As you can imagine, after a few weeks with a dictionary and colouring in book of animals, I could draw this out N-definitely. The problem is NP-complete, which I’m now reliably informed by the good folks at HP means it’s provably quite difficult and not something that can be delegated to chips of the non-quantum kind. My chips are most definitely non-quantum though my bugs, strangely, are.

Where did that leave us?

Well, let’s look at what we want to get done.

We have this whole design thing in full flow, which is making Ubuntu sleeker and more stylish, as well as making it smoother for those who just want to get stuff done. We’ll make the N release the best-dressed ever. But classy covers don’t equate to good reads – we want style and substance to meet and get along famously. Once Maverick is out the door we’ll be turning our attention to making the most of the amazing capabilities of modern graphics hardware, both for outer beauty and for inner efficiency. There’s a lot more to GL than glitz and glamour, though we won’t say no to either.

We’re also putting a lot of work into chips and architectures (admittedly, not yet of the quantum sort) that keep cool, and help keep the planet cool in the process. So it would be nice to have a codename which reflects that goodness. Some sort of mascot for a cool planet would do the trick.

And so, we come swiftly to a conclusion: allow me to introduce the Natty Narwhal, our mascot for development work that we expect to deliver as Ubuntu 11.04.

The Narwhal, as an Arctic (and somewhat endangered) animal, is a fitting reminder of the fact that we have only one spaceship that can host all of humanity (trust me, a Soyuz won’t do for the long haul to Alpha Centauri). And Ubuntu is all about bringing the generosity of all contributors in this functional commons of code to the widest possible audience, it’s about treating one another with respect, and it’s about being aware of the complexity and diversity of the ecosystems which feed us, clothe us and keep us healthy. Being a natty narwhal, of course, means we have some obligation to put our best foot forward. First impressions count, lasting impressions count more, so let’s make both and make them favourable.

While it may not in fact get you a pony, the world of free software is the platform upon which the future is being built. So the Narwhal, as the closest thing to a real live unicorn, is an auspicious figurehead as we lay down the fabric from which dreams will be woven. Dreams of someone’s first PC, dreams of someone’s first million instances in the cloud: whatever your vision of the future, we hope the Natty Narwhal will have something to offer. Test your gems against that unicorn – some will be glass, others of value. Perhaps the unicorn will bring you Luck, perhaps a cure for poisons proprietary. One thing is certain: we’ll be building it together with thousands of the most generous, insightful, fun people on the planet – not only those in the Ubuntu community, but those who participate in the whole of the free software ecosystem, from a2jmidid to zzliplib, with Debian (happy Birthday!, now longer in the tooth, wiser, but as potent and principled as ever) a special partner. I’m looking forward to the ride, and the result!

194 Responses to “N-imal?”

  1. Smart Phone Top 10 » Ubuntu 11.04 to be called Natty Narwhal, ARM support to be headline feature Says:

    […] of the smartest kids in remedial algebra, has revealed that the name of the upcoming 11.04 will be Natty Narwhal and that support for ARM’s low power and ubiquitous architecture will be one of the headline […]

  2. Ubuntu : Mise à jour (10.04.1), Multi-touch et future version optimisée - Websourcing.fr Says:

    […] Le successeur des surricates se nommera Natty Narwhal comme vient de le dévoiler Mark Shuttleworth. […]

  3. Ubuntu 11.04, nome in codice Natty Narwhal Says:

    […] Nell’attesa di Ubuntu 10.10, la prossima versione della nota distribuzione è stata già annunciata da Mark Shuttlework, che ha colto l’occasione per parlare di come la filosofia di Canonical sia quella di […]

  4. Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, próxima distribución de Canonical : Noticias2D Says:

    […] 11.04 Natty Narwhal aparecerá el 28 de Abril de 2011 como adelanta Mark en su blog y la estética cambiará de forma notable, sobre todo llegando a ser más […]

  5. Nazwa kodowa Ubuntu 11.04 brzmi Natty Narwhal | thecamels.org Says:

    […] Shuttleworth ogłosił na swoim blogu, że nazwa kodowa kolejnej dystrybucji ubuntu 11.04 zaplanowanej na kwiecień 2011 roku brzmi Natty […]

  6. Maro Says:

    COOL

  7. Zac Says:

    A well written piece Mark as well as providing encouragement.

    Go Ubuntu!

  8. Ubuntu 11.04 har nu fået sit navn: Natty Narwhal | Linux Nyheder Says:

    […] Læs Mark Shuttleworths indlæg her. Related Tags: Mark Shuttleworth, Maverick Meerkat, NAtty Narwhal, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 11.04 Previous Topic: Viborg: Drop Microsoft Office, siger SF […]

  9. » Ubuntu 11.04 si chiamerà Natty Narwhal (l’elegante narvalo) Says:

    […] 11.04 è stato scelto. Un Mark Shuttleworth particolarmente “prolifico” di interventi ha introdotto Natty Narwhal, elegante narvalo. La mascotte è un cetaceo della famiglia dei delfini caratterizzato da un corno […]

  10. Fri13 Says:

    So Canonical has finally chosen to take the action to kill the Tux and replace it with Ubuntu?

  11. Aldo "xoen" Giambelluca Says:

    AHAHHA, I know I’m OT (sure?) but that song it too :D.

    Am I the only one who would like to see this on the Ubuntu 11.04 CD?? AHAHAH

  12. Aldo "xoen" Giambelluca Says:

    BTW, good work for Natty and Maverick of course. I can’t wait for kubuntu 10.10 :)

  13. Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal | 2bGeek Says:

    […] mismísimo Mark Shuttleworth nos lo explica: El narval es un animal ártico (en peligro de extinción), esto es un recordatorio de que solo […]

  14. El nombre que Ubuntu 11.04 tendrá es: ... | Como Ser un Geek Says:

    […] a la “N”) con la misma letra en ambos nombres y en esta ocasión el nombre será: Natty Narwhal.Traducido a nuestro querido españo sería algo como “Narval Elegante” y por si te […]

  15. Ankit Tulsyan Says:

    Nice…

  16. Linux Outlaws Says:

    Hi Mark,
    All the best for the next version of ubuntu.The whole ubuntu team is doin a great job.

  17. вБалаково.ру » Blog Archive » Объявлено кодовое название Ubuntu 11.04 Says:

    […] спонсором проекта Ubuntu, на страницах своего блога раскрыл кодовое имя следующего релиза Ubuntu 11.04, выпуск которого […]

  18. [News]Distribuito Ubuntu 10.04.1 e comincia il conto alla rovescia per Ubuntu 10.10 | Guidetutorial Says:

    […] non sarà selezionabile prima di un paio di Relese. Inoltre, ieri, è stata annunciata da Mark Shuttleworth l’uscita della 11.04 la quale dovrebbe contenere finalmente Gnome 3.0 Non ci resta che aspettare la Beta1 e […]

  19. Ubuntu 11.04 se llamará Natty Narwhal « TUXROOT – GNU/Linux, una forma de vida Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth, fundador de Canonical y benevolente dictador de por vida de Ubuntu, anuncia hoy en su blog el que será el nombre en clave de Ubuntu 11.04: Natty Narwhal, o Narval Elegante. Una versión […]

  20. Ubuntu 11.04 sẽ có tên mã Natty Narwhal | htth's blog Says:

    […] blog của mình Mark Shuttleworth cho biết, tên mã (cũng chính là linh vật của phiên bản […]

  21. Ubuntu 11.04 sẽ có tên mã Natty Narwhal — Góc trẻ con Says:

    […] blog của mình Mark Shuttleworth cho biết, tên mã (cũng chính là linh vật của phiên bản […]

  22. Ubuntu 11.04 heet ‘Natty Narwhal’ | ThomasBerends.nl Says:

    […] Shuttleworth heeft een paar dagen geleden op z’n blog (google translate) de naam van Ubuntu 11.04 bekendgemaakt. Deze release zal uitkomen in April 2011. […]

  23. Svelato il nome di Ubuntu 11.04: si chiamerà "Natty Narwhal" | Tesoro Web Says:

    […] 17 agosto 2010, direttamente dalle pagine del proprio blog, il guru di Canonical ha annunciato che Ubuntu 11.04 si chiamerà “Natty Narwhal”, […]

  24. Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” Release Schedule Says:

    […] Shuttleworth announced the codename of Ubuntu 11.04 a couple of days back. It is “Natty Narwhal” in case you missed […]

  25. chris mockridge Says:

    Thanks – I have used Ubuntu for 3 years now and Windows seems alarming. I converted ‘broken’ computers to Ubuntu and now the owners love them again. Way to go!

  26. Mark Namakan “Natty Narwhal” Untuk Ubuntu 11.04 « GudangLinux Says:

    […] lahir dengan nama “Natty Narwhal.” Mark Shuttleworth, bapak dan pencetus Ubuntu Linux memaparkan latar belakang dari nama yang diberikannya sambil menjelaskan tujuan dan fitur dari rancangan […]

  27. Svelato il nome di Ubuntu 11.04: si chiamerà "Natty Narwhal" [MegaLab.it] | TecnoBlogItalia.com Says:

    […] 17 agosto 2010, direttamente dalle pagine del proprio blog, il guru di Canonical ha annunciato che Ubuntu 11.04 si chiamerà “Natty Narwhal”, […]

  28. Svelato il nome di Ubuntu 11.04: si chiamerà "Natty Narwhal" | TecnoBlogItalia.com Says:

    […] 17 agosto 2010, direttamente dalle pagine del proprio blog, il guru di Canonical ha annunciato che Ubuntu 11.04 si chiamerà “Natty Narwhal”, […]

  29. Ubuntu 11.04 se llamará Natty Narwhal « Geekv's Blog Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth, fundador de Canonical y benevolente dictador de por vida de Ubuntu, anuncia hoy en su blog el que será el nombre en clave de Ubuntu 11.04: Natty Narwhal, o Narval Elegante. Una versión […]

  30. Ubuntu | Cipri Blog Says:

    […] *de aici […]

  31. Ubuntu 11.04 alias “Natty Narwhal” | HowtoForge Says:

    […] Ubuntu Version 11.04 auf den Codenamen Natty Narwhal getauft. Den „schicken Meeressäuger“ gab Shuttleworth via Blog bekannt. if (typeof ord=='undefined') {ord=Math.random()*10000000000000000;} […]

  32. Mark Says:

    We don’t Need stinking names, just a number. I can not keep track of All the releases by name. Number is so much easier and it is frustrating when I see Ibex and do not know if it means 10.04, 9,10, or 10.10.

    How about;
    “Named Nomore” for 11.X?

  33. 11.04 Ubuntu Developer Summit Announced | jonobacon@home Says:

    […] on the heels of the announcement of the Natty Narwhal, I am tickled pink to announce the details of the next Ubuntu Developer Summit taking place in […]

  34. Narwhal. Eles existem. « Cable Select Says:

    […] Narwhal será o mascote da próxima versão do Ubuntu, segundo o próprio Mark Shuttleworth. O Natty Marwhal é aguardado para abril de […]

  35. Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx « Namnlösa bloggen Says:

    […] Ja apropå KPackageKit, det ska ju bytas ut i framtiden mot Muon Package Manager, fast förmodligen inte förrän i Kubuntu 11.04 (som för övrigt ska heta Natty Narwhal). […]

  36. Ubuntu 11.04 si chiamerà natty narwhal, il narvalo che vive nel mare artico. Says:

    […] della nuova 11.04 Natty Narwhal anche le date dei rilasci. Mark Shuttleworth, come si legge da un post sul suo blog, si è sbilanciato e finalmente ha rivelato il nuovo codename di Ubuntu 11.04..che da questo […]

  37. vila Says:

    My gnome-dictionary-applet says about ‘natty’:
    adj : marked by smartness in dress and manners; “a dapper young
    man”; “a jaunty red hat” [syn: dapper, dashing, jaunty,
    raffish, rakish, smart, spiffy, snappy, spruce]
    [also: nattiest, nattier]

    Wow, ‘dapper’, ‘jaunty’, ‘red hat’, this ‘Natty Narwhal’ doesn’t come out of nowhere :)

  38. Natty Narwhal « Il blog di totò Says:

    […] settimana scorsa, Mark Shuttleworth ha annunciato in questo articolo, il nome in codice del rilascio successivo a Maverick Meerkat, che diventerà stabile il prossimo […]

  39. Introducing 11:04 the Natty Narwhal! « Ubuntu-Moza74 Says:

    […] To read more about Natty Narwhal and what Mark had to say about the thought process behind the name, go to http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/478 […]

  40. ubuntuper Says:

    @Tiago Taken even further: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLARFKbre_I . Get ready for the uber narwhal edition

  41. Mark Namakan “Natty Narwhal” Untuk Ubuntu 11.04 « All About My Self | Share | News | Opinion Says:

    […] bapak dan pencetus Ubuntu Linux memaparkan latar belakang dari nama yang diberikannya sambil menjelaskan tujuan dan fitur dari rancangan […]

  42. E o nome do Ubuntu 11.04 é Natty Narwhall | ZWAME Portal E o nome do Ubuntu 11.04 é Natty Narwhall | Análises, notícias e guias sobre tecnologia em Português Says:

    […] o nome do Ubuntu 11.04 é Natty Narwhall por Metro a 18 Agosto 2010 em Notícias O Mark Shuttleworth anunciou no seu blog o nome do Ubuntu a ser lançado em Abril de 2011. Como tem sido tradição o nome é de um animal, […]

  43. Ubuntu 11.04 wird Natty Narwhal (netter Wal) heißen | Lootz.net Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth hat in einem Blog den Codenamen der Ubuntu-Version 11.04 […]

  44. Ubuntu 11.04 named ‘Natty Narwhal’, aims to impress Says:

    […] No, really it is. […]